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Old September 29th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #1
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4:3 in an HD Project

I am working on a documentary project (HD / 1920 x 1080) and I'm going to be using old video clips from the 80's and 90's. The clips are all 4:3 SD so my initial thought was just to use them in there native format and have them smaller on screen while the rest of the film is would be HD and will fill the entire screen.

Last night I watched a doc where they used old 4:3 footage like I'm talking about and it filled the entire screen seemingly without stretching it, and it looked great.

I tried to do this with my footage by changing the scale and it works but it cuts the frame off on the top and bottom because it's keep the aspect ratio I believe. Does anyone know how to achieve this?
Oliver Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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Hey Oliver, what you are describing is how to do it.

You either increase the footage to full width, and chop off top and bottom, or increase the footage to full height, and have pillarboxed sides, or you keep it picture in picture with a background graphic underneath.

If you are going with pillarbox sides you will need some sort of background behind the picture, to avoid horizontal blanking issues (black edges left and right or top and bottom) when you go for a broadcast QC check. Ran into this recently, if you have any of the 4:3 frame with black edges after you blow it up, QC will look at it and potentially fail you for blanking (because apparently some consumer tv's automatically resize footage when the 'detect' a 4:3 image over a 16:9 image, which causes the whole screen to pop in and out.)

So safest solution is have a background graphic you can overlay the 4:3 footage onto, or ENSURE that the entire screen is filled with the video (that it extends beyond the borders of the canvas and that if the archive footage in turn had any horizontal or vertical blanking, black borders from where it was telecined etc, that this is also extended beyond the visible frame and you only have visible picture in your screen.

You can change the aspect ratio if you REALLY want to, but if you do this everything will looked stretched/squished and this also may fail you on a QC, because it's easy to spot for a broadcast technician (I've had a QC notice on a shot that was suffering only very slightly perceptible CMOS skew for about two frames when a CMOS camera bounced a bit in hand held and there was enough going on for it to create what was perceived to be a vertical aspect ratio stretch in one part of the frame.)
Craig Parkes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 30th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #3
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Craig, thanks for the info, I will probably just zoom my footage in then and deal with it cutting a bit off the top and bottom.
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